Larry the Alligator Makes Friends by LaDonna Marie
Larry the Alligator Makes Friends by LaDonna Marie is an illustrated children’s book about a shy young alligator named Larry who is finding it difficult to make friends in his neighborhood. The book begins with us being introduced to Larry, as the narrator explains that Larry often watches other young alligators play, being too nervous to approach them or try to join in on the fun. His mother tries to convince him that he has to put himself outside of his comfort zone to make friends, and that he won’t be able to form relationships with his peers unless he puts himself out there. Larry tries to join a group playing basketball, but they say their team is full which discourages Larry from making friends. After a pep talk from his mom, she encourages him to try again, so Larry approaches some kids playing soccer, and they are happy to invite him to be a part of their game. After introducing themselves to one another, the young alligators quickly begin a fun game of soccer, and Larry feels like he fits in for the first time.
The illustrations in this picture book are very well done and bring the story to life. The story of Larry trying to make friends is one that many children are sure to relate to, as it can often be scary and intimidating to put yourself out there, especially to other people that you don’t know. The book teaches children that building friendships is not necessarily always easy, but that if at first you don’t succeed you must persevere and try again. The end of the story highlights the key points the author is trying to get across, like building confidence and promoting positive interactions. The only way this book could be improved is if the text was on a separate page, and not overlapping with the lovely illustrations.
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